Re: Free Choice Feeding an IR Horse

Kerry Isherwood

I think the point she is trying to make is that its the "mini-fasts" that occur when forage is NOT available free-choice that is what is to be avoided bc in theory the fasting creates a detrimental insulin surge that perpetuates and can worsen IR over time (an aside, wouldn't this mechanism be similar to the Simogyi effect in diabetes mellitis?  I know its been debunked in human medicine but the academics still discuss it in small animal critical care, esp in feline d. mellitis)  so the impression I got was that she isn't so much advocating for free-choice feeding as she was trying to avoid horses having forage fasts (lesser of two evils).  However, I've found the couple of articles by Getty on the subject to be just generalized enough that the philosophy is potential dangerous to the average horseowner, IR or not.  To put it another way, I understand the point she's trying to make, but only because I already have a working understanding of practical IR management.  Its one thing to say "feed free choice hay!" but quite another to find a consistent source of safe forage that truly can be fed free choice, and that pragmatism is what is missing from Getty's approach, IMO.

Kerry in NY
Sept 2014

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